Pigface ‎– A New High In Low

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Tracklist

Low
Radio Bagpipe 3:44
Kiss King (High High High) 5:34
Burundi 4:34
Bring Unto Me 4:41
More 5:14
Nutopia 4:27
Methylated (I. Breathalised / II. Crystalised / III. Synthesised / IV. Immortalised) 4:26
Aboriginal 3:09
Metal Tangerine 4:11
First Taken Third Found 3:43
Warzone 3:36
You Know / You Know / You Know 4:31
High
The Howler: An English Breakfast (Chapter 1, Part 1) 30:03
Train 24:18
The Howler: An English Breakfast (Chapter 1, Part 2) 19:23

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bonnicon

bonnicon

June 2, 2012
referencing A New High In Low, 2xCD, Album, INV063CD
I had only read about PIGFACE before Mr. ATKINS handed me this album. 'Course I knew a lot of his earlier work, and had expectations as to what I'd hear on this album. I guess it's eclectic approach to genre-splicing shouldn't have surprised me - after all fellow ex-PIL-er JAH WOBBLE had been doing much the same kind of thing, only in a much more commercial vein. Wich isn't to say that this deliberately messy album hasn't got some classic moments which might with a bit of a shove not only hit pop-pickers ears with equal impact but could actually do much better! Try "Kiss King" with it's processed sitar, tuneful female voice and ATKINS' kick-in-the-teeth drums - seductive and wonderful, both a hard dance sound and soft dreamy sounds - perfect! Or the unbelieveably cool bass loop and spatial drums of "Bring Unto Me" which make a very distinctive backdrop for the female vocalist's acid words, as pointed as a stiletto - again a Parental Guidance stickered hit and act as a kinda coda to some of the lyrics on LOU REED's "New York" album. "Burundi" hearkens back to the bludgeoning aggression of MURDER INC., gathering didgeridoo and a tint of tribal drumming in it's LARGE white Hip Hop mutation. And somewhere in this stolen mass is a core of creative brilliance which is, as throughout the entire album, never quite tamed enough to be entirely pedestrian. "Nutopia" makes for a less immediate but no less impulsive listening experience, but has a brutal medium-paced dance drive set to a distinctive song. Almost pop music - indeed a more wimpy mix might earn them a mainstream audience. "Methylated - i. Breathalised - ii. Crystalised - iii. Synthesised - iv. Immortalised" kinda wants to be a Techno track - it has the busy electronica at it's core - but instead remains something much better - bigger, harder, meatier. The remainder of this disc makes good use of who you just know must be budget-breaking session vocalists and musicians. In many ways this album comes across like a cooler, less clichéd take on LASWELL's MATERIAL project - filled to bursting with with talent which cannot fail to shine through. Difference is the $$£Ker-ching£$$ agenda of MATERIAL is secondary here.
And the second disc? Why it's more or less a vehicle for everybody's favourite grey-haired bag-lady GENESIS P ORRIDGE to revisit his "Very Friendly" roots. And in a way it's his attempt at catching up with the late 70's "God Save The Queen" anti-Royalty which must have been going on in the next street to THROBBING GRISTLE's shock-horror imagery. Very BURROUGHS dream - like prose set against a meandering sprawl of drums and (mostly) fx which is as spatial and open as a giant wanton flower in Summer heat. Amusing, sexually perverse and often childish, this makes for an intriguingly long tale. Listening to the second piece brings comparison with VELVET UNDERGROUND's "The Gift" set against a Dubby, GRISTLE-tinted backdrop. "Train", which divides the two parts of this tale is aptly titled - it's percussive meanderings and sequencers sounding like some Sci Fi journey on an express between lonely cold stations through black tunnels. It sounds a little like CAN jamming against a mildly Techno backdrop.

But like 'em or hate 'em, you just gotta admire ATKINS' drumming which is less experimental that darn right explosive. He hits the skins and shatters the metal like he were beating them to within an inch of some inherent life. Its a giant, irresistable sound which proves that he's more than just the guy who was in the 'right place at the right time with the right attitude' or 'odd enough to maintain an attention-grabbing interest'. Whether you like the music or not, you just can't ignore it's sheer intensity. And if they had diluted the album it would have reached so much further. Yet by remaining obstinately nonconforming it is instead a minor classic. And you just know the bastards were aware of what they were doing. It may not fill the INVISIBLE coffers to capacity, but then they settled instead for a far superior product. Play LOUD and PLAY OFTEN!

Originally reviewed for Soft Watch.
jahwhitey

jahwhitey

July 9, 2007
edited over 8 years ago
referencing A New High In Low, 2xCD, Album, INV063CD

While not necessarily Pigface's finest album as a whole, the second disc carries some of the most incredible work the group ever did. The combination of Martin Atkins' rock drumming, Mick Harris' gut-busting sub-bass, and Genesis P-Orridge's salacious storytelling shows how this so-called supergroup was able to combine the strengths of its collaborators, though later incarnations never again met this musical zenith. Highlights from the first disc include the Marc Heal fronted "Burundi" and the hip-hoppy "Warzone".